Police shut down 70-person midnight wedding party at pub defying coronavirus curfew
A pub in Birmingham has received a £1,000 fine after police discovered 70 people at a lock-in after the 10pm curfew.
Officers on dedicated coronavirus patrols walked in to The Greyhound in Erdington at midnight to find a wedding party with drinks still being served, a DJ set up and a gazebo in the garden.
The police arrived two hours after the pub should have closed up in line with the government’s 10pm curfew to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
A statement from the West Midlands Police said: “We’d had a complaint about noise and the size of the gathering from a member of the public, and we found between 60 and 70 people were gathered, with no social distancing being observed.
“We dispersed the gathered guests and then met with the licensee earlier this week.”
Sgt Nick Giess, licensing lead for Birmingham, said: “This was a double whammy of breaches.
“Not only were they hosting a wedding party of around 60, which was twice the number allowed at the time, but they were still open at midnight with no signs of shutting down.
“No officer wants to barge in on someone’s wedding day – but we’ve got a duty to enforce these new rules to protect not only the guests, but their loved ones and the people they’ll come into contact with.
“Our officers took a sensible approach and chose not to fine the guests, but those running licensed premises should know better.
“We’ve decided to impose a £1,000 fine, and not the £10,000 maximum, because it was on a much smaller scale than some other events, and the pub has not been in trouble with us before.”
Meanwhile pub landlady Fiona Hornsby said the current lack of government support is in stark contrast to the help she received at the start of the pandemic.
Fiona runs two pubs, The Bridewell and the Denbigh Castle in Liverpool, with her husband Dominic.
The couple took out a lease on the latter in February this year, just weeks before the country went into full lockdown.
She said: “Those four months (of lockdown) were awful because you just didn’t know how long it would go on.”
All her staff were put on furlough and Fiona said: “The government support was great. It kept everyone afloat.”
She added: “The brewers were all brilliant. They replaced all the keg beer and all the cask beer at no charge, which was fantastic.
“We got an awful lot of support and we got so much goodwill, it was great. People gave you time to pay. It just helped.
“But this time, we are not going to get anything.”
She has called on the government to scrap the 10pm curfew, which she described as “a joke”.
“Last orders are 9.15pm, to make sure everyone is off the premises at 10pm.
“It took 25% off our turnover in both pubs instantly.
“We do a third of our money in the last three hours and we are quite fortunate in that we have a daytime trade but so many places don’t.”
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